Company / division: Pinterest
Google Turns Image Search into an E-Commerce Funnel (Apr 13, 2017)
Google’s search advertising business is increasingly under threat from other sites pre-empting Google searches with their own search functions in specific areas, among them Amazon in e-commerce and Pinterest in fashion and other categories. As such, Google recently beefed up its image search function to serve up related results from its Shopping feature, and now also shows related images which show fashion products in use alongside other clothing or accessories. All of this is algorithmically generated without human curation, and leans on Google’s AI and machine learning technology. Google is going to have to get better and better at serving up results in these various categories if it’s to fend off the threat from the specialists, but if starting elsewhere has already become a habit for some users, they’ll never even see these Google advances.
The ANA represents 1000 large advertisers including many of the largest companies in the US, so what it says definitely counts for something when it comes to advertising policy. And in this case it’s saying that it wants other big tech companies to submit to outside audits alongside Facebook and Google, who have already committed to do so. Strangely, Instagram is on the list anyway, alongside other independent names like Twitter and Snapchat. There really seems to be increasing pressure from advertisers for transparency and consistency, and this was one of the themes of P&G exec Marc Pritchard’s talk a few weeks back in which he called on the ad industry to do better on several fronts.
I don’t follow Pinterest closely, but this has been a long-anticipated change to its ad products, and an important one – search advertising continues to be the best way to deliver the killer combination of timeliness and relevance to a user. Most of Pinterest’s ad products so far have been focused on relevance – pins within the context of a topic-based board or within the overall feed of new content, which are somehow related to other things the user has looked at or pinned recently. This move also reinforces the idea that search is in some specific categories migrating off general purpose search engines and into specialized ones, with Amazon and shopping being the most prominent example. The article says that Pinterest sees two billion searches a month already, and that’s a massive base to insert ads into.
via Marketing Land